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Mounting product availability issues in the UK

​New research from reichelt elektronik reveals 52% of electronics project managers face challenges sourcing products.

reichelt surveyed professionals in software design, engineering, development, programming, IT and purchasing and found that pricing and delivery were two of their top issues, making it hard to not only choose but source the components they need. As many as 31% of projects have had to be cancelled due to unavailability of the item they need, or prices being too high.

In recent years, the distribution landscape has changed significantly due to internationalisation and segmentation of the market. This has led to challenges such as the shortage of components, increased prices, as well as longer delivery times.

What do buyers look for?

When it comes to choosing a supplier, the survey found that 49% of project managers look for a distributor offering high quality components as a priority, but 37% agree that they have ended up with products that don’t reach high enough standards. reichelt’s research also found that buyers look for suppliers that provide:

  • Products with zero compatibility issues - 43%
  • Components that are in stock and delivered on time - 39%
  • As many products to choose from as possible - 57%

These requirements are enough to make the majority of project managers choose one supplier over another. Defective products would be enough for 48% of shoppers to switch distributor or 46% would switch if components were priced too high.

High prices and faulty products can all make projects more difficult than before, however general consensus is that projects are easier to complete than they ever have been in the past - 39% say they are easier than ever before.

What makes projects today easier to complete?

The reasons cited for this greater ease are mainly due to the broader product choice available from distributors (70%) and the improved performance of components (47%). This means engineers and designers have a greater variety of options at their fingertips.

In addition, the results show a reliance on online resources such as communities and building instructions in their professional environment. The Raspberry Pi is a good example of a product that’s popular in the industrial environment due to a thriving online community, reichelt stated.

Ulf Timmermann, CEO of reichelt, commented: "New electronics projects are always an exciting challenge - and that’s as true today as it was 50 years ago. Today, developers have access to a variety of different components with more sophisticated technical capabilities. Often, the challenge is to choose the right product. Distributors have a responsibility to be a fundamental part of the success of your project, not just a retailer.

“By making product selection as easy as possible with clear, flexible pricing so they can devote full attention to the technical planning and implementation of the project."

Bethan Grylls

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